I was reminded by 2 different videos in the last 24 hours that sometimes the simple things in life can bring you a lot of joy. You could even call these little things guilty pleasures but as someone who proudly watched the entire series of Girlfriend’s Guide to Divorce because of my crush I had on Lisa Edelstein from House, there’s no such thing as guilty pleasures on this side.
I’m still sticking with the favorite albums theme for titles as well. I thought The Documentary was fitting as this piece is capturing my life in this moment. No? Didn’t I just say this is a safe space?
Speaking of crushes, I’ve gained a lot of love for West Virginia’s own Jennifer Garner lately (born in Texas, raised in Charleston; just like I’m born in Virginia, raised in Capon Bridge). Maybe it was the divorce from Ben but I really started paying attention to those Capital One commercials she was in.
A while back, she took to IGTV (is that still a thing?) and began her #PretendCookingShow series. Pretend Cooking Show is just that, Garner in her kitchen making delicious food in a “neatly” edited 5 to 6 minutes, as she talks to the camera, makes mistakes, and makes no excuses for not following a recipe exactly.
Of course, the dishes that she puts on the videos come out wonderfully but there are no filters to be seen; I definitely get the feeling there’s been some food left on the cutting room floor due to something we all possess: human error. I took some time on my lunch today to watch her latest episode and as always, it brightened my day. I mean Jennifer Garner almost put flour in a recipe just like us! It’s the relatability I love.
The other reminder of the little things came from a friend on TikTok talking about how “Africa” by Toto made him feel guilty. I quickly jumped in to his comments and then I made sure to play “Africa” at high volume on my way to work and posted it on my own account.
You may have heard this before but certain songs make you feel good. Last week, I listened to “This Place Hotel” and “Shake Your Body Down to the Ground” and didn’t feel one ounce of guilt for wanting to listen to Michael Jackson vocals. My relationship and fandom may have dipped for the King of Pop in recent years but I can still enjoy his music.
I can never enjoy any R. Kelly music ever again though. And I’m alright with that.
Just because a group of white guys want to bless the rains in Africa doesn’t make it wrong; “Africa” is a jam that gets discovered by a new person every day and it’s been that way for almost 40 years. “Don’t Stop Believin’” survived its popularity surge from Glee to still be a dope song. And please find me the person who doesn’t enjoy “Hotel California” (don’t @ me, I know they exist). While in some circumstances, “Africa” may be a tad problematic, it’s not racist, and as it was said at the beginning of “Feels Good”, play the record once a day, as needed. That song makes me happy and it’s a little thing like that I’m thankful for.
I will no longer condone “Sweet Home Alabama” though. Bunch of jerks.
Addendum: I’d be quite remiss if I left out one of the greatest TikTok accounts ever created: Fritz and Donnybrook! Fritz lives in a cabin in the woods in upper upper Michigan with his dog Donnybrook. He didn’t get my attention by being funny or dancing; he simply likes to cook on an open fire or inside his cabin. His smooth intonation of “Well hello buddy” can put even the coldest heart at ease and his simple worldview brings relaxation and calm to his 4.7 million followers a few times a week.
The food looks great and he always tops every recipe off with a classic movie or video game and his preferred cold pop of choice, Vernors. His comments are full of people thanking him for the 60 seconds of bliss, with some going as far to tell him his content helped them cope with breakups and deaths of loved ones. Despite hanging out recently at the Winter Classic and being invited to the Lions first home game a few months ago, Fritz still keeps it simple. And while I’m sure the pressure to deliver perfection on every video can get to him, I for one hope he continues on this path for a long time. Hands down, this is the best account on TikTok.
ITEM: Posted the video of Hyphen Nation 190 on my YouTube channel for those of you who like see George and Marcus look outstanding while I look mediocre. Also, my camera quality was weird. I don’t know if it was Skype or me. 🤷🏾♂️